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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Why Vampires Are Scarier Than Zombies

Made using Heromachine 3. Not quite sure how I feel about it.

These two creatures have some things in common. They're both undead, haunt our horror movies, and you don't want either to bite you. However, I say vampires are more dangerous than zombies. Here's why.

  • They're faster and stronger. Whether zombies are fast or slow depends on the series, but vampires are generally faster than humans. Also, zombies tend to not have a whole lot of individual strength, whereas our bloodsucking buddies have super human strength.
  • They can strategize. Zombies are what humans become when they lose the ability to reason and then fall back on instinct. Vampires can still reason and strategize.
  • They can blend in. I've seen a grand total of one film (Warm Bodies) where a zombie was able to pass off as human. Vampires, on the other hand, can pretend to be human. Sure, there might be some issues with the pale skin and the fangs, but it is possible.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Earlier this month, I had complained about the shortcomings of YouTube and other Google sites. Today, it's not YouTube itself I'm whining about; it's the users. Here are a few of the things they do that drive me batty.

  • Get into debates and insult people. One of the most infamous features of YouTube is the easily offended and hostile commentators. Fortunately, I haven't seen this as much lately. Of course, this probably has something to do with the fact that I hardly read YouTube comments anymore.
  • Refuse to accept that not everyone has the same opinion as they do. That video got 10 dislikes? That means ten people who watched it have something wrong with them. And as mentioned, they love their debates.
  • Fail to make videos available on mobile. It's frustrating when I can't use my MP3 player to watch a video. I'm willing to bet this sort of thing is also bad for your view count.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Messy Mondays:St*pid Internet Debates

Only three more A to Z posts to go.

Number of blogs I'm following thanks to the challenge:11
Comments received from the the twentieth to the twenty-sixth:10
Comments I've made on other blogs this week:2
What I did Saturday:Pretty much what I've done the last couple weekends. I watched movies (Thor:The Dark World again, and Catching Fire) and exercised. I also painted my nails.

For copyright reasons, this post has been moved to my other blog.

And here are some things to think about before you debate about religion on the internet.

© 2015 by M.R.R.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Movie Review:Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

W for Wonka and Wilder.

Premise:An eccentric candy maker invites five children to visit his factory.

Cast:Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, Peter Ostrum as Charlie, Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe, Michael Bollner as Augustus Gloop, Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt, Denise Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde, Paris Themmen as Mike Teevee, Günter Meisner as Slugworth, Roy Kinnear as Mr. Salt, Ursula Reit as Mrs. Gloop, Leonard Stone as Mr. Beauregarde, Dodo Denney as Mrs. Teevee, Diana Sowle as Mrs. Bucket

Director:Mel Stuart

MPAA Rating:G

Genres:Fantasy, kid's, musical

Notes:Based on the book by Roald Dahl. Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:The crazy candy man. The acting. The music.

Cons:A couple of scenes could have been left out. 60's special effects. Charlie's teacher.

What would you do if the best candy maker in the world was offering you a tour, a prize beyond your wildest dreams if you could find a ticket? You'd go into a frenzy looking for it, that's what.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Today, I think I'll talk about vampires.

  • The best vampire story I've heard so far is the original Dracula. No mushy romance or romanticized monsters, just tension and a creepy bad guy.
  • You hear a lot of talk about the zombie apocalypse, but hardly ever a vampire apocalypse. We should explore the latter more often, since vampires would pose a greater threat (unless we're talking about fast zombies).
  • I have not read or watched Twilight. I might so I can see exactly how bad it is.
  • I prefer vampires as bloodthirsty predators as opposed to vampires as good guy love interests. The latter can be done well, but there's a difference between potential and execution.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Movie Review:Under The Tuscan Sun

Are you enjoying yourself?

Premise:A divorced writer buys a villa in Italy.

Cast:Diane Lane as Frances Mayes, Sandra Oh as Patti, Lindsay Duncan as Katherine, Raoul Bova as Marcello, Vincent Riotta as Mr. Martini, Pawel Szajda as Pawel, Giulia Steigerwalt as Chiara

Director:Audrey Wells

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sexual content and language

Genres:Romance, drama

Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:Honest pain. The acting.

Cons:The teen romance.

If you found out your husband was cheating on you and wanted a divorce, how would you react? Would you spend time in Italy on the trip your friend offered you? That's what Frances decides to do.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Thoughts, Theories, & Trivia:Marvel's The Avengers

This is a kind of post I like to call Thoughts, Theories, & Trivia. Basically, I take quotes, trivia, my own speculation and anything else that I think about a work but can't really put in a review. Speaking of which, you can read the review here.

There's only one God, ma'am, and I'm pretty sure He doesn't dress like that.
-I've heard this called the best line in the movie.

  • Anyone else think Loki would make a good vampire? On that subject, it would probably be more of a curse to him than it would be to a human. He already has several of the benefits (like longevity), so he'd mostly get a lot of the bad stuff (sensitivity to sunlight, bloodlust, and so forth).

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Album Review:Skillet Piano Tribute

I'm not done talking about Skillet. Also, this was a lot shorter than the other review I had.

Artist:Piano Tribute Players

Genres:Classical, piano

General thoughts:All but one of the songs here are from Comatose. I can't say there are any tracks here I wouldn't have included. They got all but two tracks, actually.

It's not their most polished effort, but it properly captures the emotion behind the music. It even manages to make me like two of the songs better. Overall, this tribute album does the band justice.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Things To Consider Before Debating Over Religion

Lots of religious debates exist on the internet. And whether you're a Christian, atheist, Muslim, or anything else, it's tempting to tell off that jerk calling you a bunch of (insert-favorite-insult-here). But before you do, think about a couple things.

  • Are you actually going to change their minds? Over 90% of the time, the answer is no. What's more likely is that they'll go on the defensive because you "attacked" them, even if you didn't (did you?), and then continue this discussion which should have died long ago.
  • Is this about your beliefs or your ego? You're going to run into people who will slam you for your beliefs occasionally, but do you really need to insult strangers just to feel confident about them?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

3 Personality Quiz Annoyances

I like personality quizzes, but since I also like to use this blog to complain, here are things that need to stop.

Questions that depend upon me having watched a certain movie or listened to a certain song:Maybe I'm just not interested or maybe I was young when it came out and my parents would have needed to be high before they'd let me watch it. In any case, if I see a question like this and I can't answer it, I'm going to quit.
Instead:Ask about genres rather than a specific film or song.

Friday, April 18, 2014

What Makes A Word Profane?

Warning:This post contains strong language.

Profanity means words considered wrong or dirty to say. What makes them bad? I won't say as a whole, but I will discuss particular words. Some have multiple meanings which may contribute to their negative ones. But first, there are a couple things I'd like to address.

First, I would like to talk about curses being "just words." Of course they're words. But without words, you wouldn't have a clue what I was talking about. That is what language is all about. If it weren't for words, then this post would be just a bunch of meaningless squiggles.

Second, using profanity in a work does not make it "realistic." True, some people like to curse, and a guy who gets shot is probably going to say something stronger than "gosh." I can accept that. But swearing for the sake of swearing does not make a story realistic.

Instead of using asterisks and hyphens to censor the words, I will just say them. (Interesting note:The spell check got set off only on "frick." And I share this computer with other people...)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review:Ostrich Eye

Here's another long one.

Premise:A fifteen-year-old believes the creepy man she has seen throughout town is her biological father.

Author:Beth Cooley


Notes:Cover taken from Beth Cooley's website.

Pros:Conflict resolution between characters is done believably. The relationship between Ginger and her boyfriend.

Cons:It's dated. A couple of characters that aren't too likable.

Did you know an ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain? That's the bit of trivia that the book gets its name from. Ultimately, this story is about the relationships between the main character and those around her.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Signs You're A Night Owl

While I've been trying to go to bed and get up earlier, I still know I'm a night owl. Do you know if you're one? Here are some signs.

  • You rarely get out of bed before 9 a.m.
  • You get up earlier than that and someone remarks "You're up early."
  • You often watch movies and TV after 10 p.m.
  • New Year's isn't a big deal because you don't stay up any later than usual.
  • If a video goes live at midnight, you're usually awake to watch it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Random Thoughts About Music

Today, I'll just ramble aimlessly about music.

  • A good song can make one feel serene. It can also keep me from wanting to kill my travel companions during a road trip.
  • I don't often mind generic songs that much. I give certain subjects (like pain and misery) more leeway than others (like happy and encouraging), though.
  • Why is it most music videos have nothing to do with what the song is actually about?
  • I don't listen to the radio because most of the artists I like don't tend to get many plays (and if they do, it's often one or two songs and that's it).

Friday, April 11, 2014

Movie Review:Marvel's The Avengers

This one is probably cheating because I went by the director's first name. Or maybe it's for justice or Samuel L. Jackson. Anyway, I really wanted to post this review before May, so here you go. I'll post more about this movie in a couple of weeks. It's going to be a little long.

Premise:Six superheroes must put their differences aside to stop an evil alien with a powerful artifact from conquering the planet.

Cast:Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Jeremy Renner as Clinton Barton/Hawkeye, Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Stellan Skarsgå as Erik Selvig, Alexis Denisof as The Other, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Paul Bettany as Jarvis

Director:Joss Whedon

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference

Genres:Action, sci-fi/fantasy

Notes:Marvel's final Phase One film. Poster taken from IMP Awards and belong to Marvel.

Pros:Good action sequences. Great villain. More interaction between villain and other characters. Black Widow's portrayal is better this time.

Cons:Pointless fighting among the heroes. The plot isn't exactly original and doesn't always make sense. Hawkeye doesn't get a chance to live up to his potential. Harder to enjoy if you haven't seen the previous films.

If you knew there were aliens out there, ones with better weapons than ours, you might start to worry. You might try to harness a great power source to even the odds. But what if one of those aliens showed up on your doorstep? What if he planned to take the earth for his own, not caring who gets killed in the process? You might call the best people you can find to stop him.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Things You Should Know About Introverts

Introverts unite! Many of these things have already been said, but they bear repeating. Here are things I'd like people to realize about introversion and shyness (yes, I know the two aren't the same thing, but in my case they tend to overlap). In case you're wondering, a few are directed at people I know.

I prefer being in small groups. Three or four people is enough for me. Six or seven is the maximum I can handle at one time.

Being quiet and not smiling doesn't mean I'm upset. It could mean I'm just thinking. Do not assume I should automatically smile whenever I'm out in public.

Small talk doesn't come naturally. If you try to engage me in conversation when I have nothing to say, it's going to be awkward.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Little Things That Make Me Happier

I might be depressed and cynical, but there are a few small things that bring me happiness. Here are a few in no particular order.
  1. Pajamas
  2. Listening to a new rock album
  3. Listening to an old rock song I haven't heard in a while
  4. Junk food
  5. A well-made action movie
  6. Cookies
  7. Hugging people
  8. A good song
  9. Sleeping late
  10. Weekends

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Things Google Could Improve

Since I regularly use Google sites, I have a few things to say about them. Here are things they could stand to work on. I'm not going to make a separate section for Google+, since all my complaints about that can be categorized with the other sites.

Unliking playlists:In order to unlike a playlist, you have to go back to the list itself and click the like button again. If the playlist was deleted, then you're out of luck.
Popular on YouTube:There is currently no option to permanently remove YouTube's popular videos from appearing in "What to watch." It will disappear for a while, but it will soon show up again.
Requiring Google+:Now to create a channel or even comment on videos, you need a Google+ account. Does Google honestly think this will stop all the nasty comments?
Safety Mode:I understand filtering out potential inappropriate videos and hiding comments. I don't understand why I can't see certain videos on user profiles with safety mode on, even if it let me watch that video without problems.
Recommendations:I don't mind seeing channels I might like appearing in a sidebar. But yesterday, when I went on YouTube, it showed me videos from a popular channel "we think you'll like." This is not a new feature I care for.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Expressions That Don't Make Sense

There are a lot of different expressions people love to use. But some just leave you scratching your head if you actually think about them.

  • Easy as shooting fish in a barrel. How would you know how easy it is to do this?
  • People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I have no idea what this is even supposed to mean.
  • The tables have turned. How did this start?
  • Easy as taking candy from a baby. Again with the "easy" expressions. And again, how would you know how easy this is? Have you had to take sweets from an infant? And if you've tried, I'm not sure it would actually be very easy to do.

Friday, April 04, 2014

TV Review:Dracula

This is for the NBC series. Someday, I'll get around to reviewing the book.

Attractive or just creepy?
Premise:A vampire plots to destroy the organization that killed his wife.

Cast:Jonathan Rhys Meyer as Dracula, Thomas Kretschman as Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, Jessica De Gouw as Mina Murray, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Johnathan Harker, Victoria Smurfit as Lady Jane Wetherby, Nonso Anozie as Renfield, Ben Miles as Browning, Katie McGrath as Lucy Westenra, Rober Bathurst as Lord Thomas Davenport

Genres:Fantasy, romance, drama, horror

Notes:Poster taken from IMDB and belongs to NBC.

Pros:Vampires aren't portrayed as misunderstood beings. Interesting characters. Good acting.

Cons:Anachronistically political correctness. The first season finale leaves something to be desired. Inconsistent with how one turns into a vampire.

There are only about oh, 10 dozen adaptions and variations based on Bram Stoker's famous novel. This is merely the latest. And no, it isn't any more faithful to the book than the others. For one thing, Van Helsing is an associate of our favorite vampire rather than his enemy. For another, Dracula poses as an American businessman. He isn't presented as ugly or as a metaphorical rapist (though he has an active sex "life") and is in love with Mina Murray. He isn't the only one...

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Album Review:Comatose

Here's the first review of the month. There will more to come soon, starting tomorrow.

Image credit:Amazon

Songwriters:John Cooper, Brian Howes

Genres:Christian rock, hard rock

General Thoughts:Sometimes, I listen to a song and don't like it. I listen to it a few more times, and it soon becomes one of my favorites. That's what I did with several tracks here. Others have remained just okay or not good in my mind.

There seems to be two tones among the album:Hard rock about God and pain, then slightly less hard stuff that's mostly about relationships. While there are good songs of the latter, the former is the stronger side of this album. Skillet is one of those bands that often references God, though they don't mention Him by name. Several tracks are about living for or desperately needing Him.

All in all, this is some worthwhile Christian rock I would recommend.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Artistic Disagreement 3:Welcome To My Blog

12/21/2016 update:This post was written long before I had a clue about systematic oppression or ableist language. I've edited the post to remove most of the problematic bits so as to stop any damage they could cause in the future.

I've decided to start off the challenge with something I've taken to calling artistic disagreement.

What it means is we tend to have varying opinions regarding our entertainment choices. And the reason I bring this up both before and now is the legions of obnoxious people who insist their opinion is the right one. Not only that, but if you dare to think otherwise, then according to them, you're a m*ron who should be ignored. (Half the IMDB threads for The Hunger Games are fans and non-fans arguing over who's less intelligent.)

This is something I can't stand. (That, and when reviewers use crude imagery to express their displeasure.) Reviews should not be you saying "Agree with me or else you're st*pid." Because you aren't me. You don't have all my biases and personal preferences. I want to know why you thought it was great or awful. Just saying whoever loves/hates it is wrong tells me only that you're narrow-minded.